Contents 13 No Emotions Please! 15 Acknowledgements
20 I’d Rather Have a British Man Any Day 26 No Sex Please, We’re Brutish 33 The Great British Invention 42 Non Sequitur—By Any Chance? 54 Fog in the Channel—Continent Cut Off 61 Thank you. Thanks. Cheers. Ta. 71 Pardon My French.... 76 Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed... 84 The Metaphysics of Real Ale Consumption 88 The Doors of Perception 99 The Darlings of the System 103 Overdraught 121 In the Groves of Academe 123 A Welcoming Kipper, or the Art of Sodomy 131 “A Friend is a Quid” 142 “Suffering is Good for the Soul” 147 The One-Night Stand Phenomenon
N o S e x P lease , W e ’ re B r u tish !
149 An Englishman’s Home... 155 Concord of Sweet Sounds?
Watching the Box Tonight... or, Alternative Spiritual Approaches
167 Hours of Darkness 176 Strange Customs 180 In Penny Lane... 188
Jai Guru Deva Om
Down the Wooden Hills to Petfordshire The Art of Amusing Oneself Sadly
205 They’ve Been Going In and Out of Style 211 A Gigantic Figure Of An Aborted Embryo
“I’m Gonna Kick Your Head In...”—An “Innate Thuggishness”? Happy New Year... But Fuck Off Now Please!
We’re Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band... “English Malady” or “Cognitive Dissonance”?
238 Affection as a Synonym for Affectation 244 Beautiful Boy... 249 Touch Me Not! 253
Happiness is a Cigar Named Hamlet
“Displays of Lechery” or the Arcane Art of Flirting Look on the Bright Side of... Death Goodbye To All That
269 Epilogue 271 Bibliography 273 Index 278 Epitaph
t is, I feel, imperative that I, Spiros Doikas, BA, MSc, KGB, Lav. Att., pay homage to a great Martian scientist, Dr Paulus Silentiarius, who pioneered a very demanding path of research. Without his advanced insights into the nature of the natives I have strong doubts whether my modest study would have taken place at all. Dr Silentiarius graduated in Social Anthropology (Single Horns) with a First Clash degree from Onanistanâ€™s renowned University of Loxford. Then he read for his MSc in Advanced Brutology at the University of Cowbridge, and ended up writing a PhD thesis entitled Genetic Repercussions of Cross-breeding between Brutes and Humanoids at the University of Central Petshire. In his invaluable dual capacity as anthropologist and brutologist, he did the utmost to shed light on the intricate workings of the native psyche. The masterâ€™s few surviving diaries were the main impetus for continuing his profound cogitations with my own humble thoughts.
No Emotions Please! I am due to appear in court next week Charged with emotion. —Roger McGough, Vandal
Englishwomen conceal their feelings until after they are married. They show them then. —Oscar Wilde, A Woman of no Importance
N o S e x P lease , W e ’ re B r u tish !
pon arrival in Brutland I could read the big flashing signs:
Warning: THIS IS AN EMOTION-FREE ZONE!
VISITORS FROM THE SUNWORLD ARE KINDLY REQUESTED TO ABANDON ANY EMOTIONAL LEFTOVERS FROM THEIR HOME COUNTRIES AND PROCEED IN AN ORDERLY FASHION THROUGH PASSPORT CONTROL BY FORMING A QUEUE SO AS TO AVOID ANY UNNECESSARY FLAGELLATION. PEDERASTS, DYKES, QUEERS AND OTHER AFFECTIVE PREFERENCE MINORITIES WHO WILL ABIDE BY THE NO-EMOTION LAW ARE WELCOME. SPANKING, OR THE USE OF THE W.C. FOR THAT MATTER, IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST; HOWEVER, PLEASE NOTE THAT A CHARGE OF 20p WILL BE LEVIED.
SUNWORLDERS CAUGHT EMOTING ALL OVER THE PLACE WILL BE DEPORTED IMMEDIATELY.
Warning: THIS IS AN EMOTION-FREE ZONE! And as I was staring in utter bewilderment at those phantasmagoria, out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of a British Airways Boeing 747 jumbo jet carrying three huge lettered ribbons that waved in the wind behind it: YOU ARE KINDLY REQUESTED TO ABANDON ALL EMOTION An Italian next to me was staring in awe, and asked his fellow traveller what this was all about. “Lasciate ogni emozione voi ch’ entrate”, came the reply, strongly echoing the words of the Florentine master. Which begs the question, if you abandon emotion, how far are you from abandoning hope?
De-Emotionalization Institutes Do you know what “le vice anglais”—the English vice— really is? Not flagellation, not pederasty—whatever the French believe it to be: it’s our refusal to admit our emotions. We think they demean us, I suppose. —Terence Rattigan, In Praise of Love, (1973) Act II, p. 537
The English have no soul, they have the understatement instead. —George Mikes, How to be an Alien, p. 24
This soul’s prison we call England. —George Bernard Shaw, Heartbreak House (Hector in Act III)
N o S e x P lease , W e ’ re B r u tish !
discovered, however, that despite such admonitions there still remained—much to the chagrin of the people who believed in an ideal state—a considerable minority of the population who maintained some sort of an emotional, inner world. No matter how much they tried to dissimulate, emotion would emerge at the most inopportune times, obstructing the normal progress of affairs in Brutland. Ugly rumours had it that these individuals had been in possession of a soul—one of the most abhorrent miasmata that could infect a native. It was obvious that these people were a disruption and a disgrace to the Equal Opportunities regime. They made heavy demands on national resources; complaining too much of an inner void, they became useless to society. It was decided that measures should be taken: the state built specialized institutes in which cultural misfits would be gathered into large groups in order to undergo a de-emotionalization treatment. Those who successfully completed the programme would return to society, cured of their disease and in good working order. Those who failed were doomed to spend the rest of their lives in de-emotionalization institutes—under the best of health care, of course. In extreme cases, those who still maintained a soul would undergo a soul lobotomy or, if symptoms persisted, a soul castration/clitoridectomy (in accordance with the severity of each case and depending on the sex of the patient). Dr Silentiarius concurs and further elaborates on this issue: The natives use clitoridectomy as a cure for various conditions including epilepsy, catalepsy and mania, which are commonly attributed to masturbation, which so happens to plague this land. Dr Isaac Baker Brown, in his book On the Curability of Certain Forms of Insanity, Epilepsy, Catalepsy, and Hysteria in Females, gave a 70% success rate using this treatment. Personally, I have no reason to doubt
D e - E motionali z ation I nstit u tes
his claims, although, I must confess, my knowledge in all things medical is limited.
It was believed that in Brutland something like 20% of the National Health Service (NHS) funds were injected into deemotionalization institutes. Even if this was true, the funds were clearly insufficient, as the streets (at least in urban areas) seemed to teem with emotionally challenged individuals. A disease that commonly afflicted the natives and at times led to their being admitted to a de-emotionalization institute was the co-called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). That disease was due to one of the fundamental characteristics of Brutland: clouds. Some people (undoubtedly belonging to the emotionally challenged population) had the audacity to demand the availability of that morally repugnant substance called Unobfuscated Solar Radiation. There was some talk in political circles of legalising it, but still it was a matter of principle for the Brutish democracy to avoid a potentially disastrous diminution of good old obfuscation. However, I cannot help but express some doubts now about the so-called seasonal nature of the disease in question. I have strong reasons to believe that it has shown itself to be an epidemic of unimaginable proportions; I would suggest to the Health Committee a renaming of the condition as â€œLifelong Affective Disorderâ€? (LAD).
The One-Night Stand Phenomenon The many faces of intimacy: the Victorians could experience it through correspondence, but not through cohabitation; contemporary men and women can experience it through fornication, but not through friendship. —Thomas Szasz, “Social Relations”, The Second Sin,1973
The fact remains that England may be a copulating country but it is not an erotic country... Girls are being taken to bed, to be sure, but they are not courted; they are being made love to but they are not pursued. Women are quite willing to go to bed but they rarely flirt with men. —George Mikes, How to be a Brit, p. 214
She is unable to sustain relationships and prizes her freedom above the collective good of the class. We encourage selfsufficiency, but your daughter [Britain] seems totally selfabsorbed. —Lesley White, “Riot Acts”, The Sunday Times Magazine, 21 July 1996, p. 44
T he O ne - N ight S tand P henomenon
we awake to meet the day we say goodmorning and I wish you five hundred miles away.
—Roger McGough, after the merrymaking, love?
he most typical relationship between a male and a female in Brutland is called, in native terms, a one-night stand or an (abnormally) prolonged one-night stand. And this applies to every conceivable sort of relationship between the two sexes, including matrimony. The law says that others must be objectified and de-emotionalized in order to render a sexual relationship feasible. Emotion is the curse of the feeling classes (now long defunct in Brutland). An anthropologist from Mars would observe that the natives have an inherent aversion to any form of touching that is not intercourse or violence. And, indeed, that is my observation as well. At times it occurs to me that if there were a way of having sex or procreating without touching, the inhabitants of Brutland would be the first to adopt it. It would strongly minimise any unnecessary risks of involvement and would further promote the paramount moral and philosophical doctrine of keeping yourself to yourself. I am sure that with all of today’s scientific breakthroughs, cybersex (including the currently popular varieties of IM sex, e.g., Skype sex, MSN sex, ICQ sex, IRC sex, and other forms of acronymic sex) will replace obsolete forms of intimacy; indeed, I consider the notion of “sex at a distance” ideal for the temperament of the natives. And perhaps one day, with the assistance of genetic engineering, Sir Thomas Browne’s dream may become a reality for every afflicted native: I could be content that we might procreate like trees, without conjunction, or that there were any way to perpetuate the world without this trivial and vulgar way of coition. —Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, pt. 2, sct. 9 (1643).
N o S e x P lease , W e ’ re B r u tish !
However, some natives maintain that although coition is vulgar, masturbation is even more hideous, leaving the natives with few, if any, choices: FOR Fornication and Adultery itself, tho’ heinous Sins, we have Frailty and Nature to plead; but SELF-POLLUTION is a Sin, not only against Nature, but a Sin, that perverts and extinguishes Nature, and he who is guilty of it, is labouring at the Destruction of his Kind, and in a manner strikes at the Creation itself. —Anonymous, Onania; or, the Heinous Sin of Self-Pollution, and All its Frightful Consequences, Thomas Crouch, London, 1723
Could this double restriction account for the high rates of violence in Brutland as the poor natives are left with no options when it comes to letting some steam off? And what does this entail for their self-respect? As Woody Allen says: Hey, don’t knock masturbation. It’s sex with someone I love!
❧ You see, my darling girl, it isn’t quite done over here to parade one’s emotions so publicly. We as a race, on the whole, prefer to—understate. Do you understand my darling?—I was guilty of bad form, especially as, I think I did, I cried a bit when I told them... Oh damn the English! Sometimes I think that their bad form doesn’t just lie in revealing their emotions, it’s in having any at all. Do you like the English? —Terence Rattigan, The Collected Plays,Volume Four, In Praise of Love, act1, p. 242
T he O ne - N ight S tand P henomenon
Our cloudy climate and our chilly women.
—Byron, Beppo, stanza 48
According to my Martian colleague, Dr Silentiarius, certain patterns tend to repeat themselves in the way the male and female of the species interact. For example, he found worthy of note the fact that both sexes had managed to do away with phatic communication, an achievement that even the most developed intergalactic spiritual civilizations had failed to approximate. He goes on to describe personal experiences that illustrate this miraculous interactive breakthrough. I quote from his book, Onanistan: An Anthropological Guide (“Onanistan” is the word for “Brutland” in Martian): For the entire length of my experimental relationship I noticed a complete absence of the phatic three-word particle how are you? (and synonyms) when I was confabulating with my onanist mistress—be it a live encounter or a mere telephone conversation. This admired economy in superfluous discursive behaviour was, much to my surprise, matched by a further economy in extra-discursive communication, be it gesticulation, sudden changes in pitch, falsetto voice, meaningful nods, etc. The utmost achievement, however, was the way in which corporal interaction was restricted to the absolute essentials, thus avoiding time-consuming behaviour like hugging, kissing lightly, holding hands in public, and further demonstrations of “affectation” (affectation is the onanist equivalent of the Martian word “affection”).
My experience is in accord with my Martian colleague’s. An addition to his observations would be the native euphemism PDA (Public Display of Affectation) which is used in its abbreviated, acronymic form in order not to cause shock or embarrassment. A further linguistic observation on this term is the fact that it is a negative polarity item, that is to say it is always used in a
N o S e x P lease , W e ’ re B r u tish !
negative linguistic context such as “I am not in favour of PDA— how dare you, you pervert!”. Furthermore, an endemic sense of female machismo (according to Dr Silentiarius, the equivalent of the Martian “femininity”) is based exactly on this aversion towards PDA. A female that has developed a certain peer sex bonding would find it insulting and swear she would never be caught in flagrante delicto holding a male’s hand. However, this does not imply that a similar feeling would arise if the scenario involved a mere “beast with two backs”.
❧ But even the English diet seems to me to give the intellect heavy feet—in fact, Englishwomen’s feet... —Friedrich Nietzsche, “Why I am so clever”, in Ecce Homo, p. 30
What Englishwomen lack is the light-footed mobility of those Europeans... —Vogue, January 1997, p. 89
In order to enhance a sense of female machismo, indigenous females have favoured the adoption of military boots and military marching techniques. Is this because they believe that it makes them more attractive and leads them to a higher number of two-backed beast simulations than their non-boot-shod and non-military-marching cognate females? Or is it some form of female machismo?
I remember the very day, sometime during the first two weeks of my five-year amorous sojourn in Brutland, when I was made privy to one of the most arcane of their utterings. The time was ripe for that major epiphany, my initiation into the sacred knowl-
T he O ne - N ight S tand P henomenon
edge—or should I say the gnosis?—of that all-important, quintessentially Brutish slang term, the word that endless hours of scholastic education by renowned mentors, plus years of scrupulous scrutiny into scrofulous texts, had disappointingly failed to impart to me, leaving me with that deep sense of emptiness begotten by hemimathy; the time was finally ripe for me to be transported by the velvety feel of the unvoiced palato-alveolar fricative, the élan of the unpronounceable and masochistically hedonistic front open-rounded vowel, and, last but not least, the (admittedly short) ejaculatory quality of the voiced velar stop: all three of them combined together to form that miraculous lexical item, the word shag.
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55, 63, 119, 123, 125, 127-9, 241, 270 accents 78, 129, 214, 268 addiction 100-1 adultery 22 aesthetics 209, 211-2 affect 16, 19, 28, 66, 77, 172, 184, 210-1, 234-5, 250
Affect, Emotional Conflict and Deficit 66 affection 23, 100, 149, 209, 244-47, 253, 255 After the merrymaking 21 AIDS ribbon 180 airport 16, 60, 126 Albion 40, 227 alcohol see drinking Alcoholics Anonymous 90 alcoholidays 93 alco-pops 104 A-levels 126 alexithymia 263 All Manners Of Food 52 America and Americans 73, 81, 204, 226-7 Amis, Kingsley 58, 84, 88 amore 240 amorous 24, 260 amour 240, 261 amphetamines 94 anal retentiveness 184 anaphia 262 Anglo-Saxon 42, 65, 119, 137, 202 anhedonia 262 Anonymous 22, 69, 90 anthropology 13, 21, 23, 106, 114, 134, 140, 151
anti-climb paint 216 antidepressants 152, 236 apartheid 148 Aperson, G.L. 92 aphasia 59 aphilokalia 262 Arbuthnot, Dr Lane 184 Argos brochure 171 Artaud, Antonin 123, 128 artist 53, 109, 206, 209 Asian 188 atheists 91 Athens 116, 129 auld lang syne 225 Austen, Jane 38, 62, 253 bacon 48 badge 246 bag-lady 268 Ballad of an Elderly Man 67 basketball 81 bathroom 30 Baudelaire, Charles 261 beans 43, 45, 47-8, 116, 140, 169-70, 210 Beatles, The 48, 55, 188, 192, 261 Beaumont, Tim 267 beauty 27-8, 66, 127, 138, 154, 169, 191, 248-9, 251, 254, 262
Beckett, Samuel 128 Bedfordshire 193 Beecham, Sir Thomas 149 beef 42, 51, 57 beer 27-8, 88-93, 95-97, 101-2, 106, 108-9, 113, 115, 117, 119-21, 173, 198-9, 201-4, 209, 215, 222, 225, 242, 259, 261
beer wall 108-9 Beethoven, Ludwig van 150, 153 Bennett, Catherine 137, 213, 258 Bentall, Dr. 242 Bentham, Jeremy 69 Beppo 23, 178 Beyond Good and Evil 89, 154 Bhagavad-Gita 171 Bible, The 131, 143, 171, 227 Big-Ben 185, 190 Black Adder 266 Blackwell 52 Blake, William 173 blasphemy 97 Blighty 175 blood pudding 45 Blyton, Enid 26 BNP (British National Party) 135 bogroll 178 bollards 109 bonding 24, 247 Book of Wit and Humour, The 30, 61, 109, 142, 177, 214, 217
booze see drinking BoucĂŠ, Paul-Gabriel 232 bouzouki 153 Boydell, Pip 194 Bragg, Billy 115 brain 54, 128, 137, 165, 173, 193, 197, 207, 227, 242, 262
Brand, Jo 198 Branston pickles 45 Breakfast of Champions 76, 187, 207 Brecht, Bertolt 128 Brendan, Behan 37-8 breweries 60, 94, 97, 172-3
Britain and the British
16, 18-24, 2631, 33-4, 36-7, 39-40, 42-5, 47-51, 53-4, 56-7, 60, 62-4, 66, 68-9, 72, 85, 87, 90-1, 93, 100, 103, 106, 109, 115-7, 119, 121-2, 126, 129, 132-8, 141, 145, 150-1, 157, 159, 167-8, 170, 173, 176, 178, 181, 183-6, 18890, 193-4, 198, 200-4, 206, 208, 214-6, 218, 220, 224, 227-30, 232, 234-6, 238, 240, 242-3, 246, 253, 255, 264-5, 271 British Genius, The 62, 121, 141, 204, 235 Britishness 228, 230 Britsex 30 Brooke, Rupert 137 Brookside 163-164 Browne, Sir Thomas 21 Brown, Isaac Baker 18, 47, 59, 164, 199 Brutland 16, 18-9, 21-4, 31, 48, 50, 53, 56, 64, 72, 85, 87, 90-1, 100, 106, 115-7, 122, 126, 129, 134-5, 137-8, 141, 145, 151, 157, 159, 178, 181, 183-6, 188-190, 193-4, 200, 202, 215-6, 218, 220, 224, 227, 243, 246, 253, 255, 264-5 Brutlanders 178 brutologist 13, 220 Buber, Martin 170 Buddhism 167, 169 buggery 230 Burgundy 90 Burnett, Frances Hodgson 176 Burns, Robert 83 Byron, Lord 23, 26, 29-30, 82, 178 businessmanâ€™s trip 170 Bywater, Michael 155 Caesar and Cleopatra 271 Cagney, Peter 30, 61, 109, 142, 177, 214, 217 California 46 Cambridge 78, 118-9, 137 Camus, Albert 9 Cancer Ward 244
Published on Mar 30, 2013
No Sex Please, We're Brutish is a study on British culture through the eyes of a Greek student who spent five years living and studying in B...